According to the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, 'antiquity' includes:
(i) any coin, sculpture, painting, epigraph or other work of art
(ii) any article, object or thing detached from a building or cave;
(iii) any article, object or thing illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion, customs, morals or politics in bygone ages;
(iv) any article, object or thing of historical interest;
(v) any article, object or thing declared by the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be an antiquity for the purpose of this Act,
which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years;
any manuscript, record or other document which is of scientific, historical, literary or aesthetic value and which has been in existence for not less than seventy five years.
Like built heritage and sites, India is rich in antiquarian wealth not only in quantity but also in its diversified varieties both in time and space. This vast antiquarian wealth of information is scattered all over, of which there is no complete record except the antiquities that are registered and the antiquities that are kept in certain museums. In addition, the lack of public awareness and ignorance about the law are the reasons for an increasing trend of illicit trafficking of antiquities from India in the international market in recent years.